Ensikertalaisille tuomittavien vankeusrangaistusten lajinvalinta


  • Heikki Kemppinen korkein oikeus


rikosoikeus, rangaistuksen määrääminen, rangaistuslajin valinta, vankeusrangaistus


Selecting the type of imprisonment for first-time offenders

The Criminal Code’s system of sanctions is based on an idea of a gradual increase in severity. In offences for which the only punishment is imprisonment, this idea is realised through legislation by conditional imprisonment being the primary sanction in cases where the length of the sentence is no more than two years and where the severity of the offence, the guilt of the perpetrator or their earlier offences do not require unconditional imprisonment.

The grounds for selecting the type of imprisonment have to do partly with assessing the offence at hand and partly with the earlier offences committed by the defendant. The article examines the decisions to be made for the imprisonment of first-time offenders and especially the question of at what point the severity of the offence and the guilt of the perpetrator weigh more on the scale than the status as a first-timer, and thus require unconditional imprisonment. The focus is therefore on cases where the length of the sentence approaches two years.

At the centre of the study is a systematic reading of the case law of the Supreme Court and a critical examination of interpretative choices made therein. In addition, the study is based on the analysis of hundreds of district court judgments, collected for this very purpose.

The results of the study show that the practice of selecting the type of imprisonment in lower courts is substantially more lenient than the practice of the Supreme Court. In the lower courts, the presumption favoring conditional imprisonment does not usually appear to turn toward unconditional imprisonment even when the length of the sentence reaches two years. This differs from the stand taken in Supreme Court case law, legislative history and legal literature.





Kemppinen, H. (2024). Ensikertalaisille tuomittavien vankeusrangaistusten lajinvalinta. Lakimies, 122(3-4), 388–410. Noudettu osoitteesta https://journal.fi/lakimies/article/view/142970